CUSJ Past-President Frances Deverell, together with several members of First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa, has been working on the CUC Criminal Justice Monitoring Group mandate. This Group was formed after the May 2016 CUC AGM to address: the over-incarceration of Indigenous peoples; the excessive use of solitary confinement; and greater use of restorative justice in our system.
The Group recently sent a brief to the Hon. Jody Wilson-Raybould, minister of Justice and Attorney General, calling for her to allocate resources to preventing crime.
Canada’s homocide rate is currently the highest in the G7, after the US. In his Holtom Peace Lecture at First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa in March 2017, Dr. Irwin Waller, a professor of criminology at the University of Ottawa, urged activists to insist that our government stop investing in the prison industrial complex, and start giving serious funding to crime prevention. This action could reduce violent crime by 50% by 2030–an ambitious but achievable goal.
The Group has created a petition asking the government for a moratorium on new prisons. Please sign it and share it. Let’s start a movement, from retribution, to prevention and restorative justice.